Weird Kentucky:Your Travel Guide to Kentucky's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets is officially my new favorite book. I have been eying this book at Barnes and Noble for sometime and finally bought it last Friday. Weird Kentucky is a very informative and interesting read. It covers everything from odd attractions, urban legends, local heroes and villains, UFOs, and one of my favorite subjects cryptozoology. For those who don't know, Kentucky is a jacked up, scary little place! The word Kentucky actually means "dark and bloody ground or cursed ground" (insert obnoxious font color for effect here!). The first group of natives who settled in Kentucky left because they felt that it was cursed and living there would bring them back luck. Thanks to Daniel and Squire Boone for braving the curse!
I have not finished the book yet but here are some of my favorite facts/anecdotes from the book so far....
- Kentucky was almost called Transylvania. (Bummer, right?) When Kentucky was first settled a section of it was called Transylvania which actually means "across the forest". Transylvania University is in Lexington and several of my friends went there. According to the book, the university's lawyers had to send a letter to several companies who were making vampire themed Transylvania University shirts to inform them that it was in fact a real college.
- Roman coins have been found all over the state. Did Caesar visit Kentucky?
- Redheaded mummies have been discovered in several Kentucky caves including Mammoth Cave. These are most likely Vikings. My ancestors perhaps?
- There are secret underground tunnels in Lexington that were also filled with redheaded mummies. The caverns are much like the catacombs in Paris and Rome. They also included hundreds of human skulls and human sacrifice artifacts. My sweet little city sure has a shady past!
- In the 1830s, a cholera epidemic killed thousands of people in Lexington and Main Street was lined with their corpses. Sweet!
- There have been many Bigfoot sightings in Kentucky. I think Bigfoot would like it here. There are plenty of caves and woods for him to wonder around in.
- Kentucky houses a Dummy Museum and the Creation Museum. Creepy.
- Charles Manson was from Kentucky. Again, creepy!
- And much, much more!